Dan Ellison's first words as teenage defender makes Bristol Rovers switch from non-league club

-Credit: (Image: Bristol Rovers FC)
-Credit: (Image: Bristol Rovers FC)

Teenage defender Dan Ellison has called his move to Bristol Rovers from Chippenham Town "a proud moment" as the centre-back becomes the Gas' fourth signing of the summer.

The 19-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the option of a further year with Rovers, joining from the National League South side, for whom the centre-back made 30 appearances last season, scoring four goals.

An excellent run of form for the Bluebirds led to Ellison earning his first call-up to the England C squad last month with the youngster featuring in a 2-0 friendly win against Nepal.

"I am delighted to have signed for Bristol Rovers,” Ellison told the Gas' club media. ”The manager has outlined his plans for me, which have really fitted into what I wanted for the next stage in my career. That has made joining Bristol Rovers a really easy decision.

"This is my first professional contract in football, which is a proud moment for me, and the fact that it has come at such a big, historic and forward-thinking club with such a great fanbase like Rovers makes it even better. I can’t wait to get started and get to work."

It is understood that the Gas beat a number of high-profile clubs to the acquisition of the 19-year-old, including Championship outfits Derby County and Sheffield Wednesday, having had a trial period with Rovers towards the end of last season. Bristol Live also understands that the Gas will pay Chippenham a fee of around £10,000 having met a release clause in the defender's contract.

Prior to his breakthrough at his boyhood club Chippenham, Ellison had loan spells at the likes of Devizes Town and Westbury United as well as playing on dual registration terms at Calne Town in the 2022/23 campaign while still in the academy set up. Following his spell at Westbury at the start of last season, the teenage defender was integrated into the Chippenham first team where he shone as a regular in the starting line up.

Now, the centre-back has an opportunity to step up three divisions with Rovers having no under-21s or development squad yet, although it is a target for the football club.

On the signing of Ellison, Matt Taylor added: “I am delighted to welcome Dan to Bristol Rovers. Dan has impressed on his journey in the National League so far and, at 19, has the potential to grow and develop even further.

“We are looking forward to working closely with Dan and helping him in his progression at the club. The local non league scene also will continue to be monitored closely as we look to grow links with all clubs near to the Bristol area.”

The 19-year-old becomes the fourth signing of Rovers' summer after the arrivals of midfielder Isaac Hutchinson from Walsall, left-back Clinton Mola from Reading and forward Ruel Sotiriou from Leyton Orient.